Experts Advise Parents To Use Anatomical Terms When Explaining The Body To Their Children

You may be wondering how you talk to your kids about their most intimate body parts?

Last month, one mom on TikTok described her response to her toddler’s question, “Do you have a wiener, Mama?”.

Over 32 million people have watched the video.

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Parent coach and psychotherapist Kelly Nadel, director of clinical training for Dr. Becky’s Good Inside, says using anatomical terms is essential.

Nadel says, “First, we let our kids know that it’s okay to talk about their private parts and names by being direct and honest.”

“Second, we want our kids to learn to receive the correct information from us. We say vagina, penis, vulva, and testicles to ensure everyone knows what we’re talking about.”

Regardless Of Discomfort

Nadel considers herself a “big advocate of directness” and recommends using anatomical dolls as teaching aids to reduce shame around children’s bodies.

Parents may feel awkward discussing these topics with their kids, but it’s important to “communicate acceptance and warmth around the conversation.”

Children may feel hesitant or resist discussing bodies or using anatomical terms. They can call things wieners or cookies as long as they know and understand the correct names.

What If They Say It Out Loud?

Commenters express concern underneath, “do you have a wiener?”

Nadel says, ”Before thinking about what to do, I would encourage a parent to take a deep breath and ask themselves, ‘What am I worried about here?'”

Children are sometimes confused about when they can and cannot say certain things.

If they feel confused or shamed, you can guide them through that process, letting them know they can come to you for help.

Conversation About Touch

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Kids are curious creatures, and they may reach for their genitals to explore the world whenever you notice your toddler playing or touching his penis in public, set firm boundaries without shaming him.

Nadel says, “Children should learn that touching themselves can feel good, but these areas are particular body parts that should be kept private.”

Nadel adds, “Remember that touching oneself is normal and healthy, and letting your child know this upfront reduces shame and embarrassment around those sensations.”